Thursday, 30 March 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From mapping the local press jobs disaster to should an editor be whipped?

A key finding from new local press study Mapping Changes in local news 2015-2017: more bad news for democracy?: "There were 30 instances of job cuts announced over a 17-month period involving the loss of 418 jobs. Newsquest, with 12 announcements affecting 139 jobs, led the way, followed by Trinity Mirror (at least 102 jobs) and Johnston Press (100 jobs). In addition to the job cuts, reorganisations affected a further 83 jobs, and there were six newspaper office closures, with journalists often being moved long distances away from the communities they serve."

NUJ BBC rep Cath Saunt on the NUJ website"Now, along with provincial newspapers - such a vital part of our democracy and free speech for more than three hundred years - local radio is facing another round of cuts. The number of journalists is being whittled away. BBC Radio and TV across the English regions is facing cuts of £15 million pounds. There are many who fear its complete demise in the not too distant future. Now digital is king and news is becoming more and more remote, faceless and centralised...We must hang on to our district reporters and their offices, to our radio stations, to the people we trust to report the news accurately and fairly. Local news DOES matter - in an era of fake news and click bait - it matters more than ever before."

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism on the launch of Bureau Local: "We believe local journalists are crucial in holding power to account. But their ability to do this is being threatened as newsrooms cut budgets and staff alongside the time and resources given to much-needed investigative reporting...The Bureau Local will build an unprecedented network of journalists and tech experts across the country who will work together to find and tell stories that matter to local communities."

Owen Jones in the Guardian on the Daily Mail: "The newspaper’s decision to objectify the legs of the country’s most prominent female politicians – focusing on what they look like rather than what they stand for – represents one of its many lows. But while it should be mocked, parodied, ridiculed, it should terrify us: because it is indicative of what is happening in Brexit Britain."

Daily Mail in a statement, published by Press Gazette“For goodness sake, get a life! Sarah Vine’s piece, which was flagged as light-hearted, was a side-bar alongside a serious political story. It appeared in an 84-page paper packed with important news and analysis, a front page exclusive on cost-cutting in the NHS and a health supplement devoted to women’s health issues. For the record, the Mail was the paper which, more than any other, backed Theresa May for the top job. Again for the record, we often comment on the appearance of male politicians including Cameron’s waistline, Osborne’s hair, Corbyn’s clothes – and even Boris’s legs. Is there a rule that says political coverage must be dull or has a po-faced BBC and left-wing commentariat, so obsessed by the Daily Mail, lost all sense of humour… and proportion?”

Marina Hyde in the Guardian on Mail columnist Katie Hopkins: "Deep down, she wants a Vanity Fair cover saying 'The Alt-right Brits Are Coming', in which she and Nigel like Patsy and Liam were. To read Katie Hopkins is to know that she would have disagreed with the Enlightenment if she thought there was a Loose Women appearance in it."

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, on subs losing their jobs at the Telegraph as work is outsourced to PA: "This news will come as another body blow to Telegraph staff; many of those at risk will be long serving people who live and breathe the paper. Members will want to know why the management is prepared to take the risk of outsourcing subbing when other companies have tried it and the track record is one of abject failure. It also concerning what affect the cuts will have on the on digital operation. Subs work across print and digital and their contribution is essential to the papers efforts in this regard. We will use the consultation process to urge the paper to reconsider and keep jobs in house."

Observer readers' editor Stephen Pritchard on complaints about columnist Nick Cohen swearing at Corbyn supporters: "Let’s be clear: Nick Cohen should not have sworn at Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters in his column last week, headlined “Don’t tell me you weren’t warned about Corbyn”. It was against the spirit of our guidelines, which state that swear words are rarely acceptable in text and then usually only when quoting others. His highly charged piece urged Corbyn’s allies to recognise that they were backing the wrong man as Labour leader and concluded: 'In my respectful opinion, your only honourable response will be to stop being a fucking fool by changing your fucking mind.' Not regular Observer prose, by any measure."

Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday: "How much longer can Turkey be allowed to stay in Nato? If this alliance really does exist to defend freedom how can it tolerate a member whose government has flung so many journalists into prison without any sort of due process?"

Kareem Shaheen in the Guardian:
 "Scores of imprisoned Turkish journalists face a Kafkaesque nightmare of legal limbo, farcical charge sheets, maltreatment and even solitary confinement in the country that locks up more reporters than any other in the world." 

Steward Gardiner, a Knutsford town councillor, quoted in the Guardian, after George Osborne held a meeting with local party members about his new job as editor of the Evening Standard: “When he [Osborne] was chancellor, he had to be in London on far more occasions than he will have to be as the editor of this newspaper. This newspaper is finished at lunchtimes so he can still do all the stuff on the parliamentary estate on the daytime. ”
Tom Watson‏@tom_watson on Twitter: "On George Osborne: It is intolerable for the operation of a free press that an editor of a major newspaper is subject to a party whip."

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